With all of the talk about class reunions this weekend, I got a little sentimental.

I was homeschooled through high school, so I grad- uated in a class of one.

However, my dad was determined that I have the whole graduation experience, so I had a ceremony complete with processional, cap, gown and speech.

Just to see what the high school senior version of me was thinking, I dug out my old speech notes this week expecting a good laugh.

Surprisingly enough, some of the points I was trying to make still ring true as I’m gear- ing up for another graduation and major life step come May.

So here they are—sage insights on life from a high school senior.

        ***

Life is not about listing the causes of the Franco-Prussian War; it’s about learning from our mistakes and being humble enough to admit them.

It’s not about knowing the life cycle of an amoeba, but appreciating the gift of life and using it the way God in- tended us to.

It’s not about analyzing tree rings and sediment layers.

It’s about standing in wonder of the world around you and realizing that this is an amazing work of art; being content to know that some things are beyond human comprehension, and that’s how it should be.

And despite all that my English teacher said, it’s not about diagramming com- pound-complex sentences—it’s about communicating in a way that brings glory to God and encourages others.

Encouraging others means living in a way that is a breath of fresh air to people who meet you.

Is the weather nasty? Maybe.

Do you have to mention it? No.

Did a politician do something stupid? Most likely.

Will anyone remember it a year from now? Probably not.

Appreciate the beauty of what you have here and now, because you never know when a tornado, earthquake, tsuna- mi or car accident could take it away.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said if the stars came out only one night in 1,000 years, everyone would turn out their lights, go outside, and it would be the quietest, most respectful, religious night on the planet.

Someone later added onto that by observing, “But, instead, the stars come out every night, and we stay inside and watch TV.”

Graduating means enter-ing a new phase of life. To those who will follow me and to those who have gone before, let’s not waste a single moment.

                    ***

Of course, college busyness has had its effect on my outlook, and I haven’t always been as optimistic as I hoped, but the ideas are still true.

No matter what stage of life we are in and what big step we have yet to take, keep life in perspective and really value each moment you are given.